Fact SHEET COBRA Subsidy for Trade-Affected Workers Q. What is the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) program? bers may continue receiving HCTC for up to 24 months (but not beyond December 31, 2010) after the primary eligible individual A. HCTC helps certain trade-affected workers, retirees, and their experiences certain life events, including: enrollment in Medi- families pay their health insurance premiums. The HCTC makes care, divorce, or death. health coverage more affordable by paying 65% of health insur- ance premiums for individuals who are eligible for the tax credit. Training and waiver requirements have changed for TAA recipi- ents, making it easier to be eligible for the HCTC. Certain individ- HCTC is a refundable tax credit - it is paid in full no matter how uals who are receiving unemployment compensation (whether much federal income tax an eligible individual owes. HCTC is or not they meet TAA training requirements) and certain individ- available on a monthly basis to help individuals pay their health uals who have a break from training, are now eligible for HCTC. insurance costs as they become due or on a yearly basis when they file their federal tax return. Q. Can I receive COBRA and HCTC? Q. I heard that the HCTC tax credit is increasing. How much A. The stimulus plan temporarily extended COBRA benefits for and when? certain TAA-eligible individuals (including eligible TAA recipients and eligible ATAA recipients) and Pension Benefit Guarantee A. The tax credit is increasing from 65% to 80% of qualified Corporation (PBGC) benefit recipients. health insurance premiums. If you are a monthly HCTC partici- pant, the 80% tax credit amount will be reflected on your HCTC TAA-eligible individuals can receive COBRA for as long as they invoice beginning in April 2009. continue to meet the definition of TAA-eligible individuals. Q. I am covered under the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) PBGC benefit recipients can receive COBRA as a lifetime benefit, program for TAA eligible individuals. If I take the COBRA and in the event of the benefit recipient’s death, their surviving subsidy will anything change? spouse and dependents can receive COBRA for an additional 24 months. A. If you receive a 65% COBRA Subsidy through your former employer - a new program established by the economic stimulus COBRA Health Insurance Continuation Premium Subsidies make bill – you will not be eligible to receive HCTC during that same individuals ineligible for the HCTC during the same month. If you month. receive a 65% COBRA Subsidy through your employer -- a new program established by the economic stimulus bill – you will not You may be better off under HCTC since, under the stimulus plan, be eligible to receive the HCTC during that same month. HCTC will pay a greater portion of your health insurance costs. The tax credit is increasing from 65% to 80% of qualified health Q. Does the New York State Department of Labor handle the insurance premiums. If you are a monthly HCTC participant, the COBRA coverage? 80% tax credit amount will be reflected on your HCTC invoice beginning in April 2009. A. No. In general, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the United States Department of Labor oversees COBRA cover- Q. Are there other changes in HCTC? age. You can get information by telephone or their website. Employers with less than 20 employees are covered under New A. Newly-enrolled participants will soon be able to receive a York’s mini-COBRA law, and information is available from the credit on their HCTC account for qualified health insurance pay- New York State Department of Insurance. ments they paid in 2009 while enrolling in the monthly HCTC Program. The HCTC Program will begin offering this option in US DOL: 1-866-444-3272 or http://www.dol.gov/cobra August 2009. NYS DOI: 1-800-342-3736 or http://www.ins.state.ny.us HCTC will be available to your family members for a longer pe- riod of time. Beginning in January 2010, qualified family mem- Protect all Workers www.labor.state.ny.us Assist the Unemployed www.labor.ny.gov connect Employers and Workers P807 (4/09) The New York State Department of Labor is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.
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